Does my vote really matter?


Voters wait in line to cast their ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at the Leestown campus of BCTC in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Gracie Moore, Reporter

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, then others probably think the same. If thousands of college students who think that way voted, they would have the power to flip an election.

In 2020, the age group of college students ranging from 18-24 had the lowest voter turnout percentage at 51%. In Kentucky, this percentage is even lower at 25%. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t vote, some possibly being lack of knowledge about the candidates, not knowing the polling locations or just apathy. I think the reasoning behind the lack of student voters is a mix of all three, plus some issues out of students’ control.

A quick Google search of legitimate sources can give information about the candidates and the offices that are up for election, as well as showing the closest polling locations. Registering to vote takes about five minutes or less. The online aspects of learning how to vote and deciding who to vote for are an immense help when it comes to gaining voter confidence.

The Kentucky midterm elections this year will decide whether Sen. Rand Paul will stay in office or if newcomer Charles Booker will take his place.

Rand Paul has been in office since 2011. His platform includes being pro-life, protecting gun rights and reforming how the country’s economics.

Charles Booker focuses on reproductive rights, gun reform and supporting those in poverty.

It’s extremely important to understand who you are voting for and their platforms, so the more knowledge you have on a candidate the better equipped you will be to vote.

In addition to the election of senator, the midterms this year hold an important amendment on the ballot: Amendment 2. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion laws have been placed in the state’s individual discretion. This means that it’s up to voters to decide the future of abortion rights.

The amendment will be on the ballot in terms of whether the voter thinks that the state should protect abortion rights and if the state should provide funding. Midterms are much more than just community offices. Amendments like these will affect the future heavily.

UK has a responsibility to urge every student to vote, and they could do much more to do this. There’s no transportation to and from voting sites off campus, classes are not canceled for midterms, and there isn’t much information on campus about candidates.

If college students have to choose between class and voting, most are going to focus on the former.

Because of this, it can be difficult to vote in college, but there are ways around what the university lacks.

Behind the tension and dissonance of politics are issues that affect the lives of students, our community and our nation. Regardless of whether politics has an immediate impact on your life, it has an immense impact on others. It’s our responsibility to vote for those who deserve change.

The more people that vote, the more of an impact people as a whole have on democracy. It’s up to us to decide the future of our nation but in order to do that we have to use our voices and our votes.